I hate when something seemingly trivial triggers a childhood trauma that I've repressed for years. Apparently I'm not consuming enough beer, because stuff like this is supposed to go away, this is what makes us grow up, become responsible adults, and create all sorts of new memories to repress.
When I was young, I was a 'husky' child. I dreaded gym class, couldn't run, throw or catch. (Come to think of it, nothing much has changed, though my parents don't buy me corduroys anymore, so bonus there.) I did walk home from school in 6th grade, it was about a mile and a half, but it was downhill, and there was a Baskin Robbins at the half-way point.
I've oft told the tale of having my watch stolen from me on an MCTS bus, my reward for being a stupid kid.
What dawned on me this week was that about the same time, perhaps earlier in the same school year, I was grabbed by a larger kid in front of the school, in view of everyone getting on their school busses and milling about after class, and had a demand made for my worldly posessions. It could have been for my really cool Velcro wallet, or the watch that was subsequently stolen on the North Avenue bus, or for my really cool new backpack. What I do recall is thinking that somehow I, a fat little grub of a 6th grader, could outrun this 8th grade thug.
I made it five feet.
I remember the scorn in his voice as he scolded me for running, at which point I broke out the secret weapon.
I don't condone crying. Crying is unfair weaponry in any fight. Crying is blackmail. And, if called to task, I will deny ever crying in my life, including during this episode. However, much like the skunk and armadillo, fat kids have their own means of self-defense. I started sobbing uncontrollably, and it worked. He took his hand from my shirt, and spoke to me with such disdain. "Shit, I ain't gonna rob no crybaby, man. You ain't worth it." And he shoved me off on my way.
Oh, Just Shut Up and Lie Down Somewhere
3 weeks ago